YAY! It’s time to celebrate! The second book in my New Jersey Ice Cats series, A PERFECT TRADE, is out!
As regular visitors to my blog posts here know, this is Tru and Jenny’s story. Readers first met this couple in A PERFECT DISTRACTION and it was clear from their first interaction, that there was a problem between them. Here is a brief reminder.
In this scene, Maggie meets Jenny for the first time at an Ice Cats’ team dinner:
“Hello, gentlemen.” A throaty voice curled around them, like the tendrils of smoke from a vamp’s cigarette in a film noir.
Maggie recognized the blonde—Jenny, queen of the puck bunnies. The players welcomed her with enthusiasm as she walked around the table greeting them.
“Ice Man. Chance. Blade.” Each name was accompanied by a touch, a brush against a shoulder, a tap on the arm. “Mad Dog.”
Vlad grinned as she reached him. “Remember me, Jenny?”
“Detroit. The natural hat trick.” Her eyes twinkled. “You scored the overtime winner with fourteen seconds left.”
“A memorable night.” From the Russian’s tone, he didn’t mean the goal.
Jenny laughed. She trailed a French-tipped finger along his shoulder, then moved on. “Juergen Ingemar. I haven’t had the pleasure.”
“We must put that right.” He wasn’t talking about hockey, either.
The woman was amazingly self-confident. She spoke easily to the players, alternately teasing and flirting. How would she treat Jake with Maggie there? Maggie’s stomach gave a little twist. She told herself not to be silly. It’s not like there was anything between her and Jake. Yet.
Jenny dropped a kiss on Ike’s head. “You dropped too early on that wrister.”
“I know.” He sighed. “I thought he was going five-hole.”
“Portnoy can’t get his shot off quickly enough to get it through your legs. He always roofs it.”
Ike tilted his head. “Really?”
“Watch game tape.” There was her supreme confidence again.
“I will. Thanks.”
“Truman.” Clipped, cold. Dismissive.
Maggie was surprised when Jenny moved past Tru with no smile, touch or banter.
“Jenny.” The easygoing man shifted in his seat, his attention focused with rigid determination on the burrito platter.
As A PERFECT TRADE opens, we see that things are no better between these former high school sweethearts:
Jenny damned the way her pulse hitched. When would her traitorous body learn that she was no longer interested in the good-looking defenseman? Hadn’t been for thirteen years. Other women might drool over the way his broad shoulders filled out his black, long-sleeved shirt and how his faded jeans fit his muscular thighs, but she’d learned the hard way not to trust his pretty packaging. She could resist those high, Slavic cheekbones and that rugged jaw, too. Her mom had always said “handsome is, as handsome does.”
That made Tru as ugly as sin.
“I saw the news about…him,” Tru said quietly. “Are you okay?”
For a moment, the protective concern in his green eyes touched her. Warmed her. As it had the day they’d met in first grade. He’d had her back when she’d squared off against the class bully over her lunch money. He’d always had her back. Until the night he hadn’t.
The warmth vanished, leaving frost in its place. “I’m fine.”
“If you need anything…”
She cut him off. “You’ve done more than enough.”
“I’m sorry.” Red tinged his cheeks and rose up his neck. “More than you’ll ever know.”
“So you’ve said.” But an apology couldn’t fix the damage he’d done.
Now, readers finally get to find out what happened in Tru and Jenny’s past and to see if they can have a future together.
I love second chance romances, because I believe some people really are destined to be together. Whether it’s the arrogance of youth or the naiveté of a first relationship, characters can make stupid mistakes — often with the best of intentions — that cost them the one they love. So it’s fun to see these characters getting the opportunity for a do-over.
A win-win negotiation?
Truman “Tru” Jelinek’s life is pretty much off the rails. With his professional hockey career on thin ice, and his personal life falling apart, he’s ready to implement some serious changes. Helping Jenny Martin—the only girl he’s ever loved—make her dreams a reality is a good place to start.
There’s just one problem: Jenny doesn’t want his help. She barely wants to speak to him. But Tru is prepared to negotiate a deal that even Jenny can’t refuse. As trading favors turns into sharing passion, he has to face the truth that when it comes to Jenny, the game is far from over.
Do you like second chance romances? Have you ever given someone who hurt you badly a second chance? Did it work out or was it a mistake?
Don’t forget to check out my special Fresh Fiction contest this month, where you could win a copy of both A PERFECT DISTRACTION and A PERFECT TRADE! And check out my website for other stops on my launch tour to get more chances to win! This time, I’m offering bonus prizes to readers who have liked my Facebook author page.